As a Canadian voter...
You might be a Green, or a Dipper; a Tory, PC, Bloquistador or Liberal; or non-affiliated. But in the end, a plurality of you will be required to vote for Stéphane Dion and not Stephen Harper.
For one thing, the tax breaks coming into effect today (be still my beating heart: I just saved $1.95 on my new 8-gig IPOD nano...) are merely an empty sales pitch that will pointlessly put pressure on our public finances in order to create the necessary conditions to further "streamline" (we'll be told) and "reduce to a manageable size" our federal government services. Then they'll sell it in french to my fellow Québecois and Québecoise as a further reduction in the interference of the Canadian State into the unquestionably Correct and Good sovereignty of the so-called Québecois Nation in handling its own affairs, just as Camille Laurin and the tar-stained but beatified (n'est-ce pas?) Saint-Réné Levesque would have had it.
As sales pitches go, it's not unlike the time a couple of years ago when someone was asking us to "lend" them our votes.
For those with short memories, Jack Layton and his 30-strong caucus haven't exactly been able to curtail the most flagrant abuses of the SSHITs with all those "borrowed" votes. And I have a feeling Dion will be very effective reminding us of what we got for that trust once we get pulled to the polls at some point this year.
Like Australia's latest Johnny-come-lately to the greenhouse effect table (yeah, I'm talking about John Howard), Peevey Steevie is about as convincing an environmentalist as he is a field marshal; I am reminded of the image presented of him earlier in his term, clad in his button-testing flak jacket, presumably assessing military strategy with an actual CF officer at some hyper-photo-op Afghanistan lookout. With Australia now a signatory to Kyoto, and the international reputation of Canada now cemented as Bushco's unofficial water boy, (don't believe me? Besides the interference Baird ran for Bushco at the Bali talks, note how our Defense Minister is now baselessly blaming Iran for supplying Afghan Taliban rebels with war toys), I don't believe enough of the country's voters will rally for the re-election of this callous dimwit.
What's most curious about the present government is how ill-advised this policy is of being the lapdog to an outgoing and immensely unpopular U.S. administration. Doesn't Peevey Stevie realise it's a bit late to tie his fate to the lame duck Bush-Cheney tag team? That there is no strategic benefit to Canada in such brown-nosing to them of all American pols? As Nobel Laureate Al Gore pointed out in Bali, there will be a completely new American political reality to deal with this time next year.
No, the reasoning for this policy of full-on Bushco support by the SSHITs can only be rationalized under the most rueful and troublesome of scenarios (and I tremble at the thought): that Harper is the keeper of inside knowledge that some sort of Benazir Bhutto-type shenanigans is on the table for the coming year. That regardless of whether the assassination of Bhutto was the result of U.S. string-pulling, Bushco is prepared and willing to throw the United States into the kind of tizzy that would see them "be forced for security's sake" to postpone "indefinitely" the heretofore unstoppable 2008 U.S. elections, thereby prolonging their regime until some magical, elusive safe day in the future.
Here's hoping that is merely a paranoid ramble and that our "New Government" is just plain stupid. I would prefer to think that.
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